Hong Kong

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about the situation in Hong Kong.

The UK takes extremely seriously its longstanding duty to uphold the implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It is a legally binding treaty, registered with the UN, and remains in force until 2047. It is important that the basic freedoms enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration are maintained. All rights and principles in that agreement have to be respected, not just by Hong Kong but by the Chinese authorities as well.

I am seriously concerned about the situation in Hong Kong. Of course the UK Government is right to condemn any violence, but it is absolutely crucial to support the right to peaceful and lawful protests on Hong Kong. The route to resolution through the current situation is via meaningful political dialogue, taken forward under the high degree of autonomy that Hong Kong has under the "one country, two systems" model.

The Foreign Secretary has raised these issues with both the Chinese Foreign Minister and the Chief Executive. In relation to the conduct of the Hong Kong Police, it is important to recognise some of the violence on the ground that they have to deal with. However, in relation to disproportionate actions and overreactions it is very clear. The Independent Police Complaints Council is carrying out an inquiry. International observers will look to see that is credible, and commands the trust of the people of Hong Kong.

The Foreign Secretary also spoke to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on 9 August, when he noted the UK's support for Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, and its commitment to 'One Country, Two Systems'. The Prime Minister also discussed developments in Hong Kong with other leaders at the recent G7 Summit.

The UK will continue to monitor closely events in Hong Kong, speaking publicly on issues of concern.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

Yours,

EDWARD LEIGH MP